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r3dot
03-01-2012, 19:24
My new AR should be here within the next two weeks. First AR.

What do I need to know about these guns? Specific oil? Useful cleaning tools? Cheapest ammo? Best HD ammo? Reliable magazines? etc.

Thanks, guys!

WoodenPlank
03-01-2012, 19:38
Mags: H&K, PMAGs, most GI spec mags. Of the three, I'll take PMAGS if Im buying, and H&K if they're free or dirt cheap (only because most places want $40+ each for them).

Ammo: Anything 5.56 spec, brass cased for practice. Avoid green tip for range ammo, it's more expensive and will tear up steel targets and indoor range backstops. Cheap ammo might run, it might not, but it'll definitely dirty up the gun faster. For HD ammo, Hornady 75Gr TAP LEO (NOT the FPD type), part #8126N, Black Hills 77gr 5.56 are both excellent choices. From a 16" gun, there are plenty of other OTM and soft point loads that will work well, also.

Cleaning tools: Bore snake, cut up sheets, paper towels, and quality oil/clp. I prefer SLIP 2k, personally. Also, the free toothbrush you get from your local dentist for paying them a visit comes in VERY handy.

For shooting it, keep it lubed. A wet gun is a happy gun. I keep my BCG lubed to the point that it looks wet, but isn't dripping. Use a quality lube, it won't cook off as fast or evaporate as fast when stored. Again, I prefer SLIP 2k.

Lube between the charging handle and receiver, between the CH and BCG. Lube the gas rings in the bolt, the bolt tail, surface of the BCG itself, and the cam pin with a light coat of oil. When shooting heavily, pull the BCG back part way, and you can see the three steel gas rings showing through two witness holes in the right side of the carrier - a drop of oil through each witness hole onto the gas rings (then racking the bolt by hand a few times) will help a LOT in keeping the gun running.

Gas rings are a wear part- they need to be replaced once they start to wear. 5,000 rounds is about right for replacement, if I remember right.

Get mags, ammo, and find a decent class nearby. I don't know where "izzerwat" is a reference to, otherwise I might be able to toss you some suggestions. Learn to run the gun, learn it's individual quirks, then start thinking about what changes and upgrades you might want. If you want to use this for HD/SD/SHTF/Zombies/whatever, then start thinking about a quality 2-point sling, quality light, and quality optic - AFTER you leartn the platform.

r3dot
03-01-2012, 19:47
Great info! Thanks!

You say 5.56 spec ammo. Does this include .223 Remington? Is steel case out of the question?

CDW4ME
03-01-2012, 19:48
What AR are you getting?

r3dot
03-01-2012, 19:53
What AR are you getting?

Noveske N4 5.56 Light Recce Basic upper on a Spike's lower.

WoodenPlank
03-01-2012, 19:57
Great info! Thanks!

You say 5.56 spec ammo. Does this include .223 Remington? Is steel case out of the question?

5.56 and .223 are only somewhat interchangeable. 5.56 specs call for higher chamber pressure (resulting in higher velocity) and the chamber is cut a little differently. you can shoot .223 from a 5.56 chamber, but the other way around is a bad idea. 5.56 will generally give greater velocity with the same bullet weight. Not as much of an issue if you are just using it for practice, but use 5.56 for SD/HD if at all possible. Also be aware that zeroing with .223 and then loading it with 5.56 WILL affect your zero - maybe a little, maybe a lot.

Steel case ammo is a bit of a debatable topic. I like knowing my gun will run it(just in case), but I won't willingly feed any AR I own steel case ammo. There are plenty of people here that love steel case ammo, though. My issue is less with the steel case, and more that most steel cased ammo uses VERY dirty powder, and it tends to gum up the gun a lot faster than quality ammo does. Plus, many of the steel loads are loaded weak (Wolf and Tula are notorious for this), and can induce more malfunctions.

Some lots of Wolf ammo have used case moth sealants that can gum up the chamber. Also, steel cases don't expand the same as brass, and they allow more propellant gasses to get between the outer case wall and the chamber wall. This won't be as evident so long as you keep shooting steel case (as following cases won't expand as far, either), but later loads with brass cases can swell and stick to the gunk left in the chamber and do anything from have poor extraction/ejection to freezing solid in the chamber. The latter is a serious stoppage, as you will either have to "mortar" it, or even get your hands on a cleaning rod or similar to tap the case out.

r3dot
03-02-2012, 18:52
I've heard some talk about break in...how do I go about it?

WoodenPlank
03-02-2012, 18:55
I've heard some talk about break in...how do I go about it?

Lube it, shoot the snot out of it.

SCSU74
03-02-2012, 19:02
Boresnake, chamber brush, chamber maid star patches, good lube. Find out what twist your barrel is and order ammo accordingly. If 1/7 heavier bullets, if 1:9 lighter bullets. Good test for gas rings is to stand the carrier group on the bolt and see if the rings can keep it up. If it slides down time for new ones.


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r3dot
03-02-2012, 19:09
It's a 1:7. I'm still a bit confused on ammo, though. 5.56 isn't near as easy to find as .223, and the price difference adds up after awhile.

WoodenPlank
03-02-2012, 19:16
It's a 1:7. I'm still a bit confused on ammo, though. 5.56 isn't near as easy to find as .223, and the price difference adds up after awhile.

.223 is fine for practice.

Zero with your chosen SD/HD load, and learn what the difference in point of impact will be with your chosen cheap practice load. At close range, it will be a negligible difference.

5.56 will be a little harder to find at local stores, but is much easier to find online, especially in bulk.

r3dot
03-02-2012, 19:31
Cool deal, as far as HD ammo, my local LEO supply store carries this among Federal and Speer:
http://gtdist.com/ProductDetail.aspx?PartNumber=HORNADY-83XXX

Is this what you recommended? However, they list it as .223

WoodenPlank
03-02-2012, 19:54
Cool deal, as far as HD ammo, my local LEO supply store carries this among Federal and Speer:
http://gtdist.com/ProductDetail.aspx?PartNumber=HORNADY-83XXX

Is this what you recommended? However, they list it as .223

It would be nice if they'd specify what it is. No full part number, no bullet weight, and it says the images may differ from shipped product. (Edit: Didn't scroll down far enough. Also, that website states several times that they will NOT sell to civilians - LEO, MIL etc. only. Since they specify .223, I get the feeling the 75gr load they list isn't #8126N)

The 75gr TAP 5.56 I mentioned earlier is Hornady part number #8126N. It is 5.56 75gr T2, and comes in a red box - it is exceptionally hard to find.

Here (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/283506_.html) is a rundown on Arfcom of the 75gr .223 civilian "For Personal Defense" loads vs the 5.56 LE TAP load.

The Black Hills 5.56 77gr (http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=D556N9&reference=/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi%3Fsearch%3Daction%26keywords%3D%26searchstart%3D0%26template%3DPDGCommTemplates/FullNav/SearchResult.html%26category%3DBHAM) load, various 5.56 69gr Sierra Match King and soft point loads, and the (harder to get and more expensive) 70gr Barnes TSX loads are all good choices for HD/SD duty.

r3dot
03-02-2012, 20:03
Awesome, thanks!

I buy from them all the time. I'll stop by tomorrow and check out their stock just in case.

I'd like to buy both 5.56 and .223 -- where are the best online places to order from? I have a Cabela's near me as well that has surplus .223, but I'd imagine their price is comparable to online.

r3dot
03-02-2012, 21:40
Thoughts for plinking ammo?

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Ammunition/Rifle-Ammunition|/pc/104792580/c/104691780/sc/104532480/Herters-223-Remington-Ammunition/1084963.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fshooting-ammunition-rifle-ammunition%2Fherters%2F_%2FN-1100190%2B1000003627%2B4294759021%2FNe-1000003627%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104532480%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104792580%253Bcat104691780%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_ stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104792580%3Bcat104691780%3Bcat104532480

SCSU74
03-02-2012, 21:41
With 1:7 make sure it's 62g or heavier. For plinking or sd I would buy m855 green tips in bulk. They serve well as either


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r3dot
03-02-2012, 21:47
Gotcha. Thanks

r3dot
03-02-2012, 22:20
Is cheaper than dirt the cheapest place to get m855? I have to pay sales tax with them. After shipping, comes out close to .40 cents a round.

WoodenPlank
03-02-2012, 22:52
Thoughts for plinking ammo?

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Ammunition/Rifle-Ammunition|/pc/104792580/c/104691780/sc/104532480/Herters-223-Remington-Ammunition/1084963.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fshooting-ammunition-rifle-ammunition%2Fherters%2F_%2FN-1100190%2B1000003627%2B4294759021%2FNe-1000003627%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104532480%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104792580%253Bcat104691780%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_ stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104792580%3Bcat104691780%3Bcat104532480

It's reboxed Wolf, and comes with all the benefits (and problems) thereof.

With 1:7 make sure it's 62g or heavier. For plinking or sd I would buy m855 green tips in bulk. They serve well as either


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Every single 1:7 barrel I have owned has shot 55gr just fine - almost always with better accuracy than 62gr. Any 1:7 should do the same, and even to as light as 50gr or so in most. Green tip is less accurate than M193, more expensive, and will tear up steel targets and backstops MUCH faster. Plus, there seems to be a lot more junk M855 ammo on the market lately. Unless you are buying the projectiles and reloading, green tip is almost never the best choice for range ammo.

Is cheaper than dirt the cheapest place to get m855? I have to pay sales tax with them. After shipping, comes out close to .40 cents a round.

Cheaper than dirt isn't that cheap - plus they were one of the first (and worst) price gougers after the Obama election - hence why I absolutely refuse to do business with them. For bulk ammo, I usually order from Palmetto State Armory. I have also purchased ammo from Lucky Gunner, Ammunition To Go, and SG Ammo - all with no issues.

Teecher45
03-02-2012, 23:38
Op, you have been given some good advice, listen to them.
My AR has a 1:7 twist and shoots 193 (55 gr.) very well. Buy some of each and see how they shoot out of your AR. Then buy in bulk.

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 00:15
Op, you have been given some good advice, listen to them.
My AR has a 1:7 twist and shoots 193 (55 gr.) very well. Buy some of each and see how they shoot out of your AR. Then buy in bulk.

For the Op, even different manufacturers of similar loads (hell, sometimes even different LOTS of the same plant, manufacturer AND load) can perform differently. That's part of the problem with green tip, it's notorious for being horribly inconsistent from lot to lot, much less between manufacturers. This contributes both to accuracy issues as well as sometimes horrible terminal ballistics - horrible for you, the bad guy might not mind as much.

In my experience, Federal M193 has been very consistent - both in the brown box/bulk packaging, and in their 5.56 "American Eagle" line. Both have treated me well, and they both come from the same ammunition plant (Lake City Army Ammunition Plant) that produces much of what is issued both by the US military, and sold to some foreign countries.

JaPes
03-03-2012, 05:19
Useful cleaning tools?

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f275/suba-saab/catm4-1.jpg

CAT M4 (http://catm4.com/)

tower59
03-03-2012, 07:23
Wooden Plank, thank you sir for a nice, succinct set of starter advice. Appreciate it.

r3dot
03-03-2012, 08:34
Yes, thank you WP.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/federal-xm193f-brown-box-5-56mm-55gr-fmj.html

Is that what you use? Can't really beat that price from what I've seen.

Magelk
03-03-2012, 08:37
Is cheaper than dirt the cheapest place to get m855? I have to pay sales tax with them. After shipping, comes out close to .40 cents a round.
http://www.natchezss.com/Ammo.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=FA&prodID=FAXM855BAR&prodTitle=Federal%205.56%2062%20Grain%20Green%20Tip%2012,500%20rounds

RatDrall
03-03-2012, 08:59
http://www.natchezss.com/Ammo.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=FA&prodID=FAXM855BAR&prodTitle=Federal%205.56%2062%20Grain%20Green%20Tip%2012,500%20rounds

That would be a foolish purchase - the palmetto link the previous post had the same ammo, in 20 round boxes, for less cost per round, with extremely cheap shipping. I got a bunch of that ammo from PSA last week and the shipping was $9 for a HEAVY package.

QNman
03-03-2012, 09:25
I've heard some talk about break in...how do I go about it?

MY "break-in" is shoot a mag of GOOD ammo (nothing dirty like Wolf), stop and run a wet swab followed by a dry swab down the tube. I use 20-round mags, and do this for 10 mags. There's no real science behind my numbers - just a compilation of many different sources over the years. I don't know nor do I particularly care if it is the best, most frugal, or least time consuming method; I actually enjoy this process, so it is no chore.

Otherwise, shoot the heck out of it, and welcome to your new obsession!

r3dot
03-03-2012, 11:54
Ordered 300 rounds of 193 and 300 rounds of m855 from Palmetto. Came out to 34-35 cents a round. Not too bad.

I figure once I zero it in with 5.56 and learn the rifle, I'll start shooting .223 to practice with.

SCSU74
03-03-2012, 13:22
For the Op, even different manufacturers of similar loads (hell, sometimes even different LOTS of the same plant, manufacturer AND load) can perform differently. That's part of the problem with green tip, it's notorious for being horribly inconsistent from lot to lot, much less between manufacturers. This contributes both to accuracy issues as well as sometimes horrible terminal ballistics - horrible for you, the bad guy might not mind as much.

In my experience, Federal M193 has been very consistent - both in the brown box/bulk packaging, and in their 5.56 "American Eagle" line. Both have treated me well, and they both come from the same ammunition plant (Lake City Army Ammunition Plant) that produces much of what is issued both by the US military, and sold to some foreign countries.

My 6920 does great with 193 25 yds and in. When I get out to 100 193 hits very low and very right of poa. Depends what distance you are shooting. My 62g duty ammo is nuts on at 100 without any adjustments. Probably a good idea to shoot some of both. When shooting into a berm it really doesn't matter if it's green tip or not. Most ranges aren't going to allow anything but hollowpoint or soft tip ammo anyway so 193 would be out as well. Luckily there is a range by me that allows pd to shoot whatever they want, for me 62g m855 works best at the distances I practice at.


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WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 13:41
Yes, thank you WP.

http://palmettostatearmory.com/index.php/federal-xm193f-brown-box-5-56mm-55gr-fmj.html

Is that what you use? Can't really beat that price from what I've seen.

Yep, that's the same stuff I use. Every rifle is different, but it's worked great in every one I have owned.

http://www.natchezss.com/Ammo.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=FA&prodID=FAXM855BAR&prodTitle=Federal%205.56%2062%20Grain%20Green%20Tip%2012,500%20rounds

:upeyes:

My 6920 does great with 193 25 yds and in. When I get out to 100 193 hits very low and very right of poa. Depends what distance you are shooting. My 62g duty ammo is nuts on at 100 without any adjustments. Probably a good idea to shoot some of both. When shooting into a berm it really doesn't matter if it's green tip or not. Most ranges aren't going to allow anything but hollowpoint or soft tip ammo anyway so 193 would be out as well. Luckily there is a range by me that allows pd to shoot whatever they want, for me 62g m855 works best at the distances I practice at.


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Your experience is counter to all of mine, then. Green tip has universally sucked in the accuracy department with almost every gun I have owned or shot, not to mention the problems with terminal performance.

Magelk
03-03-2012, 14:05
That would be a foolish purchase - the palmetto link the previous post had the same ammo, in 20 round boxes, for less cost per round, with extremely cheap shipping. I got a bunch of that ammo from PSA last week and the shipping was $9 for a HEAVY package.

After shipping, 34.5 cents is more than 58 cents per round?:tongueout:

And 62 gr green tip is the same as 55 gr fmj?

Magelk
03-03-2012, 14:08
OK I used shipping on just 20 rounds. If you buy 12,500 of the fmj, it ends up being 31 cents per round.


I actually don't buy ammo because I reload this stuff for around 17 cents per round.

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 14:13
OK I used shipping on just 20 rounds. If you buy 12,500 of the fmj, it ends up being 31 cents per round.


I actually don't buy ammo because I reload this stuff for around 17 cents per round.

12,500 rounds of GT has to be shipped by freight service - that's not cheap. Not to mention finding a place to store it, getting it into your house, etc. Plus, green tip is not what I would suggest for keeping a large stockpile of for any reason.

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 14:17
Since someone asked about break-in, etc, give this a read (http://www.6mmbr.com/gailmcmbreakin.html) before you follow some crazy break-in procedure...

If you have a chrome line, there's no reason to break it in, anyway. Most modern stainless AR barrels don't need it, either.

Magelk
03-03-2012, 15:12
12,500 rounds of GT has to be shipped by freight service - that's not cheap. Not to mention finding a place to store it, getting it into your house, etc. Plus, green tip is not what I would suggest for keeping a large stockpile of for any reason.

It was 267 bucks.

I wouldn't do it either.

QNman
03-03-2012, 16:19
Since someone asked about break-in, etc, give this a read (http://www.6mmbr.com/gailmcmbreakin.html) before you follow some crazy break-in procedure...

If you have a chrome line, there's no reason to break it in, anyway. Most modern stainless AR barrels don't need it, either.

Not picking, and I realize you didn't write the article, but... What kind of cleaning rods are people using that's damaging a chrome-lined barrel? And I'm shooting anyway, so what's the harm in a quick mop every now and again?

Sorry - genuinely curious. And you seem to know a lot about these things.

K. Foster
03-03-2012, 16:27
Green tip has universally sucked in the accuracy department with almost every gun I have owned or shot, not to mention the problems with terminal performance.

This has been my experience as well.
Wooden Plank has given some good advice here.

r3dot
03-03-2012, 17:09
Plus, green tip is not what I would suggest for keeping a large stockpile of for any reason.

That was a question of mine. Do you suggest stockpiling m193? What about having a stock of .223 since it's cheaper?

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 17:09
Not picking, and I realize you didn't write the article, but... What kind of cleaning rods are people using that's damaging a chrome-lined barrel? And I'm shooting anyway, so what's the harm in a quick mop every now and again?

Sorry - genuinely curious. And you seem to know a lot about these things.

The quotes there are generally in reference to stainless match barrels for benchrest competition rifles. The wrong cleaning rod used incorrectly can tear up the crown and really screw the barrel. I'd imagine there are other ways you could screw up that type of barrel, too.

As for the "quick mop," McMillan's point was you're wasting time, energy, ammo, and barrel life to "break in" a rifle that probably doesn't need it. It's more important in match BR barrels, as they have MUCH shorter lives than most AR barrels.

QNman
03-03-2012, 17:12
The quotes there are generally in reference to stainless match barrels for benchrest competition rifles. The wrong cleaning rod used incorrectly can tear up the crown and really screw the barrel. I'd imagine there are other ways you could screw up that type of barrel, too.

As for the "quick mop," McMillan's point was you're wasting time, energy, ammo, and barrel life to "break in" a rifle that probably doesn't need it. It's more important in match BR barrels, as they have MUCH shorter lives than most AR barrels.

Fair enough.

WoodenPlank
03-03-2012, 17:15
That was a question of mine. Do you suggest stockpiling m193? What about having a stock of .223 since it's cheaper?

Depends on what you want it for. Stocking for cheap practice - use the cheapest ammo your gun shoots well.

If you want something for a long-term Katrina/zombies/extended SHTF/etc. nightmare scenario of your choice, I suggest getting the best ammo you can afford while still being able to buy enough of it to make you feel comfortable. Say you feel you'd need 500 rounds for your "nightmare" scenario - buy the best ammo you can afford to buy 500 rounds of. If you feel happy with 200 rounds, same deal - but you're more likely to be able to find and afford 200 rounds of the really good stuff than 500 rounds of the same. If you feel like you'd want 2,000 rounds in reserve, then you're probably not gonna be stocking up on TAP T2 (well, not at $0.85-$1.50 a shot, anyway). :whistling: